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Moviegoers, rejoice! Bend’s Regal Cinemas reopens

(Update: Clarifying that masks can only be removed while eating, drinking; link to full policies)

Remember the smell of movie popcorn?

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Moviegoers in Bend finally have something to be excited for. The big-screen cinematic experience is officially back at Bend's Regal Cinemas in the Old Mill, which reopened Friday for the first time in many months.

You may have forgotten what its like to go to the movies, but the Regal team is open for business, and they say they're hoping to refresh everyone's memory in this "new normal."

"I'm just really excited to be here," said moviegoer Faith Lyons. She and her mother, Alix, were one of the first customers to make their way into the lobby, awaiting their first theatrical experience in months.

Faith and her mother were avid moviegoers, but their weekend hobby quickly faded, due to the government shutdowns amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

You might not be able to see the smiles on their faces, due to their masks, but you could sense their enthusiasm from a mile away.

"Some families go on vacations for fun, but we go to the movies," Alix said.

So what's the movie-going experience going to look like?

Regal said that Oregon COVID-19 health guidelines require that all customers purchase their tickets online prior to the showing. They will be able to scan their tickets with the Regal app, or they can print their tickets.

Customers must wear a mask upon entering the building,and in the auditoriums as well, though they can be removed to enjoy food and beverages.

Regal's reopening policies are outlined here.

New releases like Warner Brother's "Tenet" and Marvel's "New Mutants" are among the first offerings.

But if you're feeling like watching a throwback, "Rocky" (1976) and "Shrek" (2001) are also on the lineup.

Regal says the success of new releases will ultimately determine if the major studios will continue to produce new films for theaters during the pandemic.

But for those in attendance Friday in Bend, they're just happy to be back.

"It's this feeling of home, for me -- it feels good to get out of my head and get out of whatever situation I'm in," Faith said. "It's not the same, watching it at home, either, so it's nice to be in the theater, and see the world a little."

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Alec Nolan

Alec Nolan is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Alec here.


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